Fun with Vampires

Re: my nearly three months of silence: I have no explanation or excuse.  I wasn't particularly busy. I didn't really accomplish anything worth noting, nor was my attention distracted by anything important, or even urgent.  But now that I've spent three weeks musing over what to say about not having said anything for eight weeks, I've come to the realization that if I try to make up for lost time before I move forward, I will never blog again.  But I like blogging, the past three months notwithstanding.  So.  Now for something completely different.

I've been reading the Twilight Saga. [Insert here a standard defensive / apologetic plea to the effect that I haven't completely lost my good judgment.]  Somewhere between the hype over the publication of the final installment of the series and the hype over the launch of the movie, I became curious.  Especially since these vampire romances have been called "the next Harry Potter."  

Well, Harry Potter they're not, whether you're talking market share or quality of storytelling.  Yes, Twilight's been phenomenally successful, but it's no Potter juggernaut, if only because the boys just aren't that into it.  And Stephen King had it right when he told USA Weekend  "Both [HP author J.K.] Rowling and [Twilight author Stephenie] Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."

A little patience, though, can get an interested reader through a mediocrely-executed novel.  (Or a blog post that tries to make "mediocre" into an adverb, for that matter.)  I'm not sure I even enjoyed Twilight, really.  I was more disturbed than entertained by it.  I found it intriguing enough to keep reading, though, and I did enjoy New Moon and Eclipse.  I'm now third on the waiting list for three library copies of Breaking Dawn, so I expect to be through with the series within a month.

What really drew me into Twilight, however, was not the series itself, but a desire to be informed enough to intelligently interact with responses like this and this.  Pop culture phenomena I can take or leave, most of the time.  Pop culture phenomena as starting point for serious yet accessible explorations of theological anthropology -- now we're talking fun.


The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

I'm so pleased yet another theological mind has been roped into the series! You're right--the next Harry Potter they are not. I think Meyer is not a good enough writer--or a mature enough human being--to really fill out the potential in these stories. But I love the ideas and symbols that they point to...I can't wait to hear what you think of the series once you're done! (I'm still ambivalent, but also still in love with Edward, and the symbol of the Cullens). :)

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